Thursday, May 19, 2011

Summer of Schooling

Well, I'm late writing about this blog... Around 7 months to be exact.

From July 28-September 28, 2010 I had the privilege of attending the 6th class of MTS school in Indonesia. In a sense, this was a school I had been waiting for since I knew what MTS was all about when I was 18. So this post represents a 11-year-waiting-program.

Was it all worth the wait?
{My mouth, face, and eyes are twitching in mental confusion.}
It would be similar to a child in a growth spurt. He wants to be tall, fast, and strong, but as he grows his muscles strengthen, stretch, and cause him pain along the way. When he looks back it is now what it is.

I had to grow as a person ALOT to reach the point of being accepted in the school. A lot of strengthening resolve, stretching patience, and painful realizations of life along the way. As I look back, it is what it was and I hope I learn and grow for the next goal like I did for this one.

(We represented 14 different tribes & languages in our class)

The background of this class is incredibly varied. Some came from Witness backgrounds, others Buddhist, Christian, Muslim. Some had been in the truth for around 4 years, others a long time. Some went hunting for their food, others were herbalists.
Educational backgrounds were of course varied as well. One thing was for sure, mental exhaustion was the norm. So during break times you may see a wide variety of sleeping positions.

(9:45pm or 10:00pm I was out like a light)

A nice benefit of the school in Indonesia is that it's held at the Indonesian Bethel. We received assignments around Bethel and were able to intertwine with the Bethel family, morning worship, meals, association during off times.

(Bethel should be moving by January, but memories shall stick forever)

The memories are long-lasting, the studying intense, the growth is noticeable. I appreciated everyones different road that led them to the school. We all have a different story that gets us to where we are, and different stories that we enjoy while in it. It's interesting how everyone takes different points away from the same material.

(Everyone's road is abit curvy)

Indonesians love to eat rice. At Bethel there was always rice, but for the schooling there was tons of bread. Well, although it was homemade I decided due to the studying and sitting around I would need to 'cut off the carbs.' -Another reason was I was busted for playing badminton and ping-pong after class. So we were told to stop playing to study. - It turns out that most of my classmates added on about 10-15 pounds during the school. It was amazing how much bread they could pound down. Breakfast, break, lunch, evening, whenever. The theocratic memory juices were flowing and they were just taking in the energy to feed the minds. I lost 10-15 pounds by cutting off the carbs, but have since gained it back in America.-Another story-

(Fruit is fresh in Indo, Smiles are abundant!)

It is a loving provision as the Bethel family throws a special dinner for all the graduates. Many dress up in Batik, they cooked a really nice meal under a particular theme. It was really nice as we used my grandmother's/uncle's eggplant parmesan recipe on that night. When I helped in the kitchen 2 weeks before I did an experiment cooking and the kitchen staff loved it, so it made our 'special dinner.' We also had salmon, enjoyed some speeches, and just felt the brotherhood in live action.

(No complaints for 3 all you can eat buffets 3 times a day for 2 months)

All but three of us stayed at some villas about 10-15 min from the branch. The boys \had chit-chat sessions and good-times every night. In particular was when we wrote a song dealing with 'thanks' to our instructors, bethel, and others involved. We didn't make the cut to sing in front of the entire graduation program, but we had a good time being boys.

(Alanus looks forward to mosquitos who sing kingdom songs in the new system)

The 3 of us who did stay at Bethel because we were because we were A. American. B Timor Lestean. C. Oldest guy in class.

What stories I could say about these guys. One grew up in Timor Leste (East Timor and island that was under Portugese domination until the 1970's and then was taken over by Indonesia now is independent under the Australian branch.) He is only the 2nd ever MTS student in the history of the country. He spoke Indonesian and since there is no Tetum MTS school yet he came to Indo. Great heart, great endurance in the ministry.

The other grew up in the island of Sumba. His story how he got to MTS school was incredible. In our rooms it was study, study, study so when his full story came out at graduation it was amazing.

Yani is 40 years old, lives on a farm with no electrictiy, and goes hunting for Wombats, snakes, crocodiles, wild boar, dogs, and monkeys. Him and another brother had to combine their whole life savings of about 140 USD to get to the school. The arrived after 6 days on a ferry, and 1 day on a train to get to MTS with about $ 25 USD left to there name. They had NO IDEA how they were going to get home. They didn't have enough money to get home! They stayed quiet the whole school and then Yani gave his story at graduation how he had to sell his piglets and left over wood to afford the trip to MTS. WELL, him and another brother were appointed as special pioneers so now the world-wide-brotherhood has helped them. BTW, Yani and the other brother were 2 of the 3 who had never seen a toilet nor a shower before coming to school.

(You know what... That's the truth when you can take 3 guys from 3 different countries and just gel)

At graduation I had a story about Pinky. Although in school 6 days a week you still don't stop preaching. Pinky is a young man about 26 who was an inspiration to me. He is Muslim, his His parents died suddenly and a few years later his aunt and uncle died leaving him the lone family survivor of his niece and nephew. He took them in at 21 years old while they were only about 5 and 7. He worked constantly as Mr. Mom and the breadwinner to help them out. He doesn't have a social life, his own things, he has no time or money as he takes care of teh kids. When we arrived we were actually searching for a young deaf girl. He knew the girl but invited us in when we started describing who JW's were.
Eventually when we described the resurrection hope, he started to cry. I then moved over gave him a hug and started to cry with him. We read numerous scriptures and just comforted him about what he was doing was being noticed. A bible teach book was placed and we followed up on a study the following week.

(1 thread for all 3 interviews. Talking to Muslims and appealing qualities to draw people in)

We had 13 from the class who were sent out as special pioneers including 6 to Papua.

Me? I just found out last week II will be number 14 assigned as a special pioneer. Where? I don't know yet. One thing is for sure: "He will make you firm, he will make you strong." 1 Peter 5:10

(The crowd rejoices.)

What was the highlight of the school for me?

Jehovah's perspective... In everything...